Facebook upload 1.8million contact without asking

Facebook just can’t seem to go a single month without another story breaking about a data breach or security flaw. Despite our best efforts to keep ourselves safe while connecting with family and friends, Facebook continues to pull the rug out from under our feet with irresponsible habits.

Well, Facebook made news again this week — only this time, the breach was not from outside actors. According to Facebook, an “accidental” data harvest occurred, with over 1.5 million users’ entire contact lists being uploaded to the platform’s servers. The worst part: Facebook didn’t even ask permission to do any of this.

Despite uproar from privacy advocates, Facebook continues to dodge questions on the “why” behind its data-hungry policies. This newest incident is just one of many security bungles for a company that prides itself in “bringing the world closer.” You won’t believe just how much information they’ve taken from users.

Why Facebook uploaded user contacts without consent
Facebook has recently been asking users to verify their identity when creating new accounts by having them sign in with their email address and email account password. Just to clarify, we’re talking about the actual password you would use for logging into your email provider! This has been widely condemned by many, who say users are being groomed for irresponsible data habits.

As it turns out, their intuition was spot on. According to a recent report from Business Insider, Facebook’s system automatically scoops up your entire list of email contacts once you enter your email password into the verification field. This gives the service names, email addresses, and any other info you may have entered for the contacts in your address book.

Facebook has admitted that 1.5 million users’ contacts were harvested this way and fed into its targeted algorithms. This assists the platform with friend recommendations and advertisements, but privacy experts are crying foul — arguing that users had no chance to consent to this automated data gathering process.

Facebook claims it didn’t access or read the contents of users’ emails, but can we believe anything it says at this point? Facebook also said contact information was captured by the platform and stored on secure servers outside of users’ reach. The company now claims that none of the data was shared with any third-parties and that it plans to notify users affected by this issue.

From scandal to scandal and back again
Facebook has since disabled the email password verification feature, but that hasn’t saved it from the mounting legal threats coming at them from all sides. Between Cambridge Analytica and other data breaches, Facebook has shown its lack of competence when it comes to user security and privacy.

Facebook’s numerous detractors argue that, as one of the largest platforms on the internet, it has a responsibility to moderate its own privacy policy and ensure that user data is safe. Despite this, Facebook continues to access greater amounts of data from people with each new upgrade to its application.

With so many data scandals surrounding the social media giant, it’s no wonder users are leaving in droves. In a 2018 survey, 44% of Americans between 18 and 29 said they have stopped using Facebook altogether. If you want to join them, here is how to delete your Facebook account.

First ever civilian helicopter-plane hybrid is coming next year

They’re called tilt-rotor aircraft. They hover like helicopters — but they fly faster and farther — like airplanes. The military has flown them for years.
Now — for the first time — a production model is on track to be approved for civilian roles such as emergency medivac flights, search-and-rescue operations and executive travel.

Billionaire and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly has said he wants one. An executive like Bloomberg could board a tilt-rotor near his home and fly at speeds higher than 300 mph to a meeting a thousand miles away. About three hours later, it could land on a helipad at the meeting location.

No airports required.

Tilt-rotors could also save precious time in the organ donation process.
For example, they could pick up a donor heart from a hospital helipad and quickly fly it directly to another hospital more than 1,000 miles away, avoiding airports altogether.

Search and rescue: A low-flying search plane can spot people on the ground, but those people must then wait for a chopper to transport them to safety. A tilt-rotor aircraft could save time — and, potentially, lives — by doing both: flying long-distance search grids and then hovering and hoisting people up from the ground.

The world’s first civilian production tilt-rotor aircraft is being built in the United States by Italian aerospace giant Leonardo.
The company says it will start building the first AW609 production model this week at its factory in Philadelphia.

If all goes as planned, the AW609 will gain Federal Aviation Administration certification by the end of this year and enter service sometime in 2020.
“The 609 represents, from a technological point of view, a breakthrough,” Gian Piero Cutillo, managing director of Leonardo Helicopters, told CNN at last month’s Helicopter Association International trade show in Atlanta.

Seating nine passengers and two crew, these unique hybrids fly thanks to turboprop propeller engines on the ends of each wing. Each engine swivels up or down, depending on whether the aircraft is hovering, landing, taking off or cruising across the sky.

Different from the military V-22 Osprey
Unlike the Pentagon’s V-22 Osprey, the world’s first production tilt-rotor aircraft, the AW609 has a pressurized cabin, allowing it to fly as high as 25,000 feet, which is comfortably above any bad weather.

Similar to the Osprey, the development of the AW609 has been touched by tragedy. The Osprey’s reputation suffered after deadly crashes in 1992 and 2000. In 2015, an AW609 prototype crashed during a flight test, killing two pilots.

“Regulators are going to look very closely at this aircraft in light of the developmental difficulties, both for the 609 and its V-22 cousin,” says Richard Aboulafia, aviation industry analyst at Teal Group. “But they’re certainly not going to certify a product that isn’t safe.”

Because this airplane-slash-helicopter is the first civilian production aircraft of its kind, the industry is entering new regulatory territory.
“We are doing this partnered together with the FAA,” Cutillo says.

“We are certifying a new helicopter — but at the same time — a turboprop [airplane].”
“It’s not an easy path because we are certifying a unique product,” he says.
Leonardo has been working with the FAA to define regulations for this new type of aircraft. “During this part there is a number of obstacles and difficulties that we are meeting together,” Cutillo says.

“But I’m fairly confident.”

“We are getting positive response numbers from the flight tests that we are doing,” Cutillo says. “So we are making important and significant progress.”
The first-of-its-kind comes at a high price

The AW609’s price tag is expected to be somewhere around $25 million, Cutillo says, more than twice the cost of a comparable traditional helicopter.
For Aboulafia, that premium price point makes the AW609 “a Cadillac solution looking for Cadillac customers.”

Oil-rich United Arab Emirates has placed a tentative order for three AW609s, outfitted for search and rescue.
The first US customer will be the Texas-based Era Group, which is expected to take delivery of two AW609s next year. The deal includes a dedicated training package for intensive flight instruction at Leonardo’s new tilt-rotor academy in Philadelphia.

Other customers may be in Japan, where Nakanihon Air Service has agreed to study the market for using the AW609 for aeromedical services, disaster emergency response and news coverage.
Plans for a bigger model

The AW609 will also be available as a passenger aircraft, perhaps for executives who want to avoid airports and fly directly from point to point.
Although billionaire Bloomberg is a certified helicopter pilot, contrary to reports, he’s not on a waiting list to buy one, Cutillo says.

If Bloomberg wants more elbow room aboard his tilt-rotor, he might be interested in a larger version of the AW609, now on Leonardo’s drawing board. Plans call for it to seat about 25 passengers.

Aston Martin unveils its first electric car

Aston Martin unveiled the British luxury brand’s first electric car at the Shanghai Motor Show, but don’t expect to see many more. Only 155 of the four-door Rapide E will ever be produced.

Beyond this car, Aston Martin will leave the electric vehicles up to Lagonda, a separate brand that will sell only electric luxury vehicles. An all-electric sedan and an SUV concept vehicle have already been revealed under the Lagonda brand.

For the most part, Aston Martin will stick to producing internal combustion-powered vehicles for customers who enjoy the sound and feel of a V8 or V12 engine. For customers who want to enjoy the quiet power of electric motors, there will be Lagonda, executives have said.

The Rapide E is an electric version of the gas-powered Rapide S. The car was engineered to, as much as possible, retain the driving feel of the V12-powered Rapide S, according to Aston Martin.

Aston Martin designers and engineers slightly altered the body of the sleek four-door Rapide to improve its aerodynamics. Since electric cars require much less air than gasoline-powered cars, the Rapide E’s grill was changed to allow less air to flow in. The area under the body was also designed to allow air to flow underneath the car more smoothly.

Batteries for the 602-horsepower car are housed where the V12 engine, the transmission and the fuel tank would go in the gasoline-powered version. The car can drive more than 200 miles on a charge, according to Aston Martin. It can go from zero to 60 miles an hour in under four seconds and its top speed is 155 miles an hour.

Inside, the usual analog gauge cluster has been replaced by a digital screen.
The rear-wheel-drive car is powered by two electric motors mounted in the back.

The car is available to order now. Pricing is only available upon ordering, though, the company said. It’s expected to cost something over £250,000, or about $330,000. Prices for the gasoline-powered Rapide S start at just over $200,000.

NCC tasks consumers on protection of telecom infrastructure

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has called for a collaborative efforts towards protecting telecom infrastructure across the country.

Mrs Amina Shehu, NCC Director Zonal Operations made this call in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Shehu was speaking at the commission’s sensitisation programme on the protection of telecoms infrastructure in Okene Kogi State. She urged all stakeholders, including traditional rulers, and individuals to collectively protect telecoms infrastructure in their communities.

Shehu, represented by Mr Ekisola Oladisun, Principal Manager, Zonal Operations Directorate, told the audience that concerted efforts of all stakeholders were needed to protect telecoms infrastructure.

“If the Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) enjoyed by the consumers are to be improved upon, the consumers needed to play a role by joining hands in protecting telecoms infrastructure. “Such as Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) and fibre optic cables located in their vicinities,”

she said. She noted that Nigeria has, over the years, recorded tremendous growth in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) following the liberalisation of the telecoms industry in 2001. Shehu, however,

lamented that there are various chanlleges facing optimum protection for telecoms infrastructure, which , in turn, hinder delivery of highly improved services to the consumers by the mobile networks. The challenges, according to her, include vandalism, theft of telecoms site equipment’s, harassment and intimidation of telecoms site engineers among others.

“It is important to note that the spate of vandalism of telecoms infrastructure across the country has resulted in cases of poor quality of service which telecoms consumers complain about,” she said. She said it was on the basis of these realities, that the commission organised the workshop in order to educate consumers on the imperative of protecting telecoms infrastructure.

“Which has become the backbone for the entire economy so we need to collectively protect telecoms infrastructure in our communities to prevent decline in quality of service on the networks of our service providers,” she said. Also speaking Mr Musa Daibu an official in the Technical Standards and Network Integrity (TSNI) Directorate, NCC, said the commission and other stakeholders were pushing for the passing into law of a bill on Critical National Infrastructure.

Daibu said that the bill if passed, will help to further improve telecoms infrastructure protection, as it will classify telecoms infrastructure as national assets.

The forum provided opportunity for telecoms consumers to ask questions on various aspects of telecomm service delivery. And the commission’s officials provided appropriate responses to issues raised to the satisfaction of the consumers.

NITDA’ s start up Friday in Kano trends on Twitter

The National Information Technology Development Agency’s (NITDA) Start Up Friday (SUF) in Kano is trending on Twitter across the country.

The agency’s SUF is a programme where Information Communication Technology (ICT) start-ups are encouraged to showcase businesses they developed using ICT.

SUF is usually organised by the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), a subsidiary of the agency.

Some of the participants who commented at the event expressed their satisfaction in the government’s effort toward developing the start-ups ecosystem.

@najeedbyunusa said “in today’s world, entrepreneurs are the promising income and am glad to be part of this tech changers and stakeholders event.

@BabangidaRuma said “I am delighted to be part of SUF Kano and I hope to meet young entreprenuers,technologists to connect and share common sense gospel together.

Dr Isa Pantami, Director General of NITDA, however, said that the current administration was seeking ways to minimise dependency on oil and developing a strong entrepreneurship ecosystem is key to economic growth.

Pantami noted that the technology ecosystem in the North West region of the country is advancing, adding that there are enormous opportunities in the ICT Innovation ecosystem which the government is ensuring it thrives.

“Nigerian technology start-ups are attractive ventures for global investors seeking early stage companies that are viable commercially and have quick profit returns in the emerging markets.”

10 of the ICT start-ups who registered for the event where given opportunity to pitch their businesses.

The start-ups will be encouraged by the agency through grants to support their businesses.

This is the 11th edition of SUF for ICT start-ups in Kano and within the North West Zone, with the theme “Understanding North West Tech Ecosystem”.

Nigeria records N25bn cyber fraud in 5 years — CIFIAN

Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria,  CIFIAN, has raised the alert over N25 billion cyber fraud recorded in the nation’s financial institution in the last five years

The Pro-tem President of CIFIAN, Dr Victoria Enape, who disclosed this,  weekend, during the induction ceremony of about 120 members in Abuja,  expressed  concern over the increased volume of financial frauds in the country.

She said CIFIAN was worried about the development, which is inimical to the development of any country, warning that: “If nothing is done about it now,  the future generation will have nothing to fall back on. “

Tasking the newly inducted members, she said: “We are commissioning all members to go and be good ambassadors of CIFIAN in their various organisations to ensure that jointly we prevent fraud, corruption and cyber crimes in Nigeria and stop further loss of billions of naira as being recorded in the last five years.

“As you are aware, the recorded fraud volume in Nigeria financial institution due to cyber increased dramatically to about N25 billion in the past five years.”

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Jeff Bezos, ex-wife agree $36billion divorce deal, world’s biggest

World’s richest man, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his ex-wife, MacKenzie, have agreed the biggest divorce settlement in history, leaving him with 75 percent of their stock in the tech giant and giving her nearly $36 billion in shares.

MacKenzie Bezos said she would give all of her stake in The Washington Post and the space exploration firm Blue Origin to her ex-husband — the world’s richest man — as well as voting control of her remaining Amazon stock.

Jeff Bezos, 55, and MacKenzie, 48, a novelist, married in 1993 and have four children. Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in their Seattle garage in 1994 and turned it into a colossus that dominates online retail.

In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Amazon, which has a market capitalization of some $890 billion, said MacKenzie Bezos will control four percent of the company’s outstanding common stock.

At Amazon’s current share price that would be worth some $35.6 billion.

According to Forbes magazine, the divorce settlement makes MacKenzie Bezos the third wealthiest woman in the world after L’Oreal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and Walmart’s Alice Walton.

Jeff Bezos, who now owns 12 percent of Amazon, remains the world’s richest man and the largest shareholder in the company with an estimated fortune of $110 billion, Forbes said, ahead of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett.

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announced their separation in January and posted Twitter messages on Thursday revealing the divorce settlement.

“Grateful to have finished the process of dissolving my marriage with Jeff with support from each other and everyone who reached out to us in kindness,” MacKenzie Bezos wrote

GADGET OF THE WEEK Munchkin: Digital bottle warmer with self regulatory timer

For nursing mothers, particularly working class mothers, getting a good night’s sleep sometimes seems more like a challenge. The reason is that an average baby drinks six to eight bottles of milk per day. At night, mothers wake up intermittently to feed the baby.

Nursing mothers therefore need a safe and easy solution to prepare each feeding bottle especially late in the night. However, with Munchkin digital bottle warmer, manual warming of baby’s food would be a thing of the past and nursing mothers can now get enough sleep. Thankfully, the device is safe for both refrigerated breast milk and baby formula. It features a smart timer that remembers the mother’s last setting to take the guesswork.

The device is an easy-to-use steam bottle warming system that warms to baby-perfect temperatures in as little as 90 seconds and the baby and the mother are happy.

Its key features Its efficient bottle steamer includes a convenient water measuring cup to ensure consistent warming coupled with an easy-lift basket to remove bottles and food jars. The built-in measuring cup, lift-out basket and adapter ring makes warming bottles more convenient. It warms evenly and helps prevent loss of nutrients, which can occur during microwaving. Alarm sounds and system automatically shut off when it is ready. Munchkin has a backlit digital display; it’s perfect for night-time feedings.

Whatsapp targets fake messages ahead of India mega-election

WhatsApp launched a hotline Tuesday allowing Indians to flag rumours circulating ahead of the upcoming election, a major concern in a country where fake news has fuelled violence.

It comes a day after WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook removed hundreds of pages promoting India’s ruling and opposition parties for violating rules around spam and “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” online.

The spread of viral fake videos and messages on social media platforms has proved incendiary in India, where half a billion people are online but limited digital literacy has helped rumours spread like wildfire. As hundreds of millions of Indians prepare to vote this month and next, experts say the biggest election in history will also prove an immense misinformation challenge.

Less than two weeks before voting starts, WhatsApp has launched a “tipline” in partnership with an Indian startup that it says will allow voters to submit uncertain or suspicious content for verification. Pictures, video links and texts will be analysed and debunked if untrue in English and four regional languages, the company said in a statement.

“This combined effort by WhatsApp and industry organisations will help contribute to the safety of the elections, by giving people means to know if the information is verified and deter people from sharing rumors that have no basis in fact,” it said. It follows a major purge of Facebook accounts on Monday by the social media giant, with hundreds of political pages spamming content supportive of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress movement taken down.

Facebook said nearly 700 of these were associated with Congress, whose leader Rahul Gandhi is challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the election. The party said it was investigating the claims.

Another 15 pages shut down for spamming were promoting, among other themes, the BJP and the alleged misconduct of its opponents, Facebook said. One belonged to a news organisation, MyNation, owned by BJP lawmaker Rajeev Chandrasekhar, media reports said. These pages were followed by 2.6 million users and “linked to individuals associated with an Indian IT firm, Silver Touch”, Facebook said.

The company based in Modi’s home state of Gujarat developed the premier’s personal mobile app and other government projects, Indian media reported. The WhatsApp tipline follows other security measures taken by the firm in India, its largest global market with 200 million users.

WhatsApp restricted message forwarding in India last year and ran newspaper adverts to counter fake news after a spate of mob killings sparked by hoaxes spread on its messaging service.

In the lead up to the election, YouTube last month said it would start flagging dubious content in news-related videos in India. Its parent company Google is training Indian journalists in verification techniques and boosting stringency over election advertising.

Facebook has also said itwas running its biggest ever election monitoring campaign, with adverts and announcements to help people spot misinformation. It is also working with Indian newsrooms to make false posts less visible.

Facebook removes 200 accounts in Philippines for misleading behaviour

Facebook on Friday said it had removed 200 pages, groups and accounts from its social media platforms in the Philippines, citing misleading behaviour to boost messages favouring some politicians in the country. The move was made ahead of mid-term elections in the Philippines on May 13, when half of the 24-member Senate seats, all House of Representatives seats and tens of thousands of local postings will be up for grabs.

The social media giant said about 3.6 million people were following the 67 pages, 68 accounts and 40 groups on Facebook and 25 Instagram accounts that were taken down following an investigation. The removed pages, accounts and groups were found to be engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behaviour,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, head of Facebook’s cybersecurity policy unit. ”What we saw is this cluster of pages groups and accounts, a combination of authentic and fake accounts that were basically being used to drive messaging on behalf of, and related to, local candidates,” he said.

Gleicher said the accounts were made to appear as normal and legitimate to boost messages in favour of certain political candidates. ”They were designed to look independent, but in fact we can see that they were coordinated on the back,” he said in Manila. They would post about local news, they would post things about the upcoming elections, local candidates.” ”A lot of messaging was pro, sort of supporting the candidates they were working in behalf of, some would be attacking political opponents of those candidates,” he added.